Switzerland approves financial aid for Ukraine’s humanitarian demining
On September 29, the Swiss Federal Council approved a four-year financial assistance package for Ukraine for humanitarian demining.
This is stated in a press release from the government of the country.
Thus, the state is ready to provide 100,000 Swiss francs for the demining of civilian and agricultural areas. The government press service points out that Ukraine is currently one of the most mined countries in the world.
"A third of its territory – a 174,000 km2 area larger than England, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined – is estimated to be contaminated by mines and other explosive ordnance. The situation is making it impossible for Ukraine – long known as the 'breadbasket of Europe' – to resume agricultural production," the press release says.
It is noted that mines also pose a danger to people returning to the liberated territories.
Switzerland is already involved in humanitarian demining activities in Ukraine.
"A total of CHF 15.2 million was allocated for 2022 and 2023, specifically to support FDFA operations by the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and the Swiss Mine Action Fund (FSD)," the government added.
It stressed that the additional aid package would help to speed up demining.
In August, the Ukrainian Ministry of Economy said that it hoped to clear 80% of the land in 10 years and return it to use.
The same month, Ukraine's first domestically produced machine for preparing soil for demining received a certificate of conformity. This development makes it possible to effectively defuse anti-personnel and detect anti-tank mines.
On September 20, the Ministry of Economy reported that since the beginning of the year, more than 200,000 hectares of agricultural land designated for priority demining have been surveyed. 120,000 hectares are already used by farmers.
On September 22, media reported that Ukraine would launch a market for humanitarian demining services through Prozorro.